Fragmentary Epistle of Diotima to Hyperion from "Hyperion" by Friedrich Hölderlin
Yet it seems as if it was scarcely yesterday, that magical evening when the sacred stranger came to me for the first time, when, like a grieving genius, he shone into the shadows of the wood where the carefree maiden sat in the dream of youth–in the air of May he came, in the enchanting May air of Ionia, and it made him bloom all the more, it waved his hair, opened his lips like flowers, dissolved sorrow in smiles, and O you rays of heaven! how you shone on me from those eyes, from those intoxicating springs where in the shadow of screening brows eternal life shimmers and wells!–
Merciful Gods! how beautiful he became with his gaze upon me! how the whole youth, grown a span taller, stood there in easy strength, save that his dear, modest arms dropped down as if they were nothing! and how, then, he looked up in rapture, as if I had flown into the sky and were no longer there, ah! how, aware of me again, his eye shone bright as Phoebus through the darkening tears and, smiling, he blushed with inborn grace to ask me, “Is it you? is it you indeed?”
And why did he come to me with thoughts so devout, so full of dear superstition? why did he first stand with bowed head, why was the divine youth so full of shyness and grief? His genius was too blessed to remain alone, and the world too poor to comprehend him. Oh, it was a dear image, woven of greatness and sorrow! But now it is otherwise! the sorrowing is over! He has found work to do, he is sick no longer! –
I was full of sighs when I began to write to you, my beloved! Now I am pure joy. To talk with you has been to grow happy. And look! even so it shall remain. Farewell!